The football doesn't stop!

The 2014 SWC might be over, but the PSL and English Premiership are around the corner! Have your say on our Forum!

LIVE

    Bulls to elevate rising star

    2013-07-09 22:30
    Brenden Nel
    Pretoria - Bulls lock Wilhelm Steenkamp’s two week ban has opened the door for Junior Bok star Jacques du Plessis to possibly make his debut for the Pretoria side this weekend against the Stormers at Newlands.

    According to the supersport.com website, the Bulls will only name their side on Wednesday for their final Super Rugby league clash, Steenkamp’s suspension has given coach Frans Ludeke some more concerns to sort out ahead of what is a very tough fixture indeed for the Bulls.

    With rising star Jan Serfontein already ruled out with a knee injury, Ludeke is set to make a second change to the match squad now that Steenkamp is out, and while he could easily have chosen between the likes of Jean Cook or a fit-again Paul Willemse, the coach looks set to give the big under-20 star a chance to make an impression for the Bulls.

    Du Plessis was one of the star players for the Junior Boks at the recent IRB Junior World Championship and has impressed at Junior level since joining the Bulls.

    His size and mobility on the field – he stands 2.01m and weighs in at 119kg – have made him an asset at both lock and flank and is seen as one of the future stars for Springbok rugby.

    Steenkamp was ruled out by a Sanzar judicial tribunal which found him guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (a) - striking another player with his head after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

    The Sanzar Judicial Hearing held via videoconference earlier on Tuesday was heard by Mike Heron, and found that Steenkamp was reckless rather than intentional in his actions, finding that he did not head butt Butch James as claimed in the citing.

    "Steenkamp made contact with the Sharks player with his head in an attempt to clear out the player from a collapsed maul.

    "I found from the video footage that the player led with his head and contacted the Sharks player in between the shoulder and the head.

    "From the video footage I found that Steenkamp intended to lead with his head and make contact with the Sharks Player and that he was reckless as to whether he would commit an act of Foul Play," Heron said in a statement.

    "I was assisted in these finding by former professional player John Langford.

    "I did not find that Steenkamp intended to injure the Sharks player nor did I find that his head struck the face of the Sharks player as alleged in the citing.

    "I found that the action was in an intense and critical phase of play when the Sharks player was attempting to interfere with the Bulls possession.

    "I was satisfied that the player gave evidence honestly and to the best of his recollection, and other than the findings made above I accepted his evidence."

    Du Plessis’ rise is an interesting one from the Bulls perspective, as they could easily have brought Jacques Potgieter in at lock, with Cook in the loose trio or decided to put Willemse on the bench again.

    Willemse has returned to action after three months on the sidelines, but there is a feeling he isn’t match fit at the moment and needs another game before heading back to the Super Rugby squad, and will play for the under-21s this weekend against the Leopards in Potchefstroom.

    In the only other anticipated change, Serfontein’s spot is likely to be filled by Francois “Swys” Venter, who has also recently returned to action after a long period on the sidelines with injury.

    Venter played in the Bulls second-stringer’s heavy defeat at the hands of the Lions last weekend at Loftus and was one of the few players who looked good in the Bulls side that were dominated by the Lions.

    The rest of the Bulls side is likely to be the same as the one that faced the Sharks.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    22 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • SS3
      Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
      04:00
    • SS4
      Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
      05:00
    • SS5
      Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
      05:59
    • SS7
      Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @
      06:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk

    Fixtures

    02 August 2014
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney 11:40

    Results

    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    The 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby final will be contested between the Waratahs and Crusaders. Who is your money on?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.